Phylogenetic analysis and systematics of the Acrapex unicolora Hampson species complex (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Apameini), with the description of five new species from the Afrotropics

Bruno Le Ru, Claire Capdevielle-Dulac, Boaz K. Musyoka, Beatrice Pallangyo, Mohamedi Njaku, Onésime Mubenga, Gilson Chipabika, Rose Ndemah, Grégoire Bani, Richard Molo, George Ong'Amo, Gael J. Kergoat

Abstract


Ten morphologically similar species of Acrapex Hampson, 1891 (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Noctuinae, Apameini) from Central and Eastern Africa are reviewed, including five new species: Acrapex kafula le Ru sp. nov., A. kavumba le Ru sp. nov., A. kiakouama le Ru sp. nov., A. miscantha le Ru sp. nov. and A. simillima le Ru sp. nov. Evidence is provided to transfer the monotypic genus Poecopa Bowden, 1956 to the genus Acrapex. Host plants of five species are recorded, some of them for the first time. Acrapex kavumba sp. nov., A. miscantha sp. nov. and A. simillima sp. nov. were found on one host plant each. Acrapex mediopuncta, previously reported in West Africa from Pennisetum purpureum Schumach., Rottboellia compressa L., Setaria megaphylla (Steud) Dur. & Schinz. and Sorghum arundinaceum (Desv.) Stapf, was only found from S. megaphylla in Central Africa. Larvae of Acrapex unicolora were collected on Andropogon gayanus Kunth, Chrysopogon zizanoides (L.) Roberty, Cymbopogon schoenanthus subsp. proximus (Hochst. ex A.Rich.) Maire & Weller, Cymbopogon pospischiilii (K.Schum.) C.E.Hubb., Hyparrhenia diplandra (Hack.) Stapf and Setaria sphacelata (Schumach.) Moss. We also conducted molecular phylogenetic analyses (using maximum likelihood) and molecular species delimitation analyses on a comprehensive sample of 61 specimens belonging to eight of the studied species. Molecular phylogenetic analyses provided additional evidence of the synonymy of Acrapex and Poecopa, whereas molecular species delimitation analyses support the validity of the five newly described species and unravel another potential new species, only collected in the larval stage.

Keywords


Acrapex; Afrotropical Region; Apameini; Noctuidae; Sesamiina

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5852/ejt.2017.270

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